Perhaps, if I had another coffee, I’d find it easier to rewind through the last week and actually remember what happened instead of feeling like I’ve been run over by by a huge truck with Christmas painted on the side. Actually, to be fair, I can’t really blame Christmas. It’s more the eminent end to yet another year when the end of the school year collides with dance, violin and school concerts and the Scout Christmas camp has been thrown in the mix as well. However, don’t let my rant deceive you. I love it all. I just wish I had more petrol in the tank or perhaps I just need the really good stuff instead of the budget variety. It’s not the time of year to skimp and use cheap fuel.
Rewinding to Wednesday, I caught the train down to Sydney to go to the Dentist at Kirribilli, which is just across the road from the pedestrian walkway over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After more than 2 hours in the chair where I swear he drilled deep into the foundations of The Bridge deep beneath the earth, I decided to spoil myself and caught a ferry across the Harbour to Circular Quay. It was an absolutely glorious Summer day and every time I take this trip, I love it just as much as the first time. More than simply being an architectural wonder, the Bridge feels like a part of me and has somehow woven its way through my memories and tunneled its way into my heart.
Speaking of The Bridge, on the train to Sydney I was reading a book on the history of The Bridge:
My Australian Story: Sydney Harbour Bridge by Vashti Ferrer
Published February 2012 Scholastic. I am loving all the detailed anecdotes throughout. I’ll be disappointed when it’s finished.
Arriving in Circular Quay with my mouth still paralyzed from the unaesthetic, I sought out soup and coffee and found myself in an authentic French cafe in The Rocks, which is located in the former Police Station. I sat outside but you can actually dine inside the cells. I am definitely heading back with the kids. They’ll love it. What an adventure!
As you’ll probably appreciate, this time of year isn’t just about Christmas or the Summer holidays, especially if it’s Winter at your place. It is also the end of the Australian school year and reports have just come home and speech day has been and gone. Both kids had great reports and received quite a few “highs”.
As we all know, it’s often hard to navigate your way through school report lingo which while intended to inform parents, inevitably requires translation in itself. I liked it back in the good old days when you had varying degrees of A B C D. We all knew what that meant. Our reports are Outstanding which apparently means you’re ahead of stage, High, Sound which is where most students will fit and thankfully I haven’t had to worry about the rest.
Anyway, Mister received a surprise award. Not from the powers that be but from last week’s Year 6 Fete. He won the award for “Being able to Stretch a Jelly Snake the Longest”. In fact, he told me through all his triumphant laughter and excitement that he was indeed the reigning champion because he’d also won last year. While I initially failed to appreciate the significance of his achievement, once he started explaining the science, thought and planning which had gone into his efforts, I was actually rather impressed. Apparently, you have to pull it fast to 25cm and then move slowly and if it starts to tear to go back to 25cm and start over. I actually wonder if there isn’t some complex scientific equation at work here. Sure, it might not be a cure for cancer but it made us both smile and that has to be worth something!
While we’re on the subject of awards, my heart goes out to all the BPs or “Quiet Achievers” out there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo9nWNxtAMo. So many of us conquer all sorts of incredible hurdles just to pull off the mundane pedestrian and yet these achievements go unsung and unrewarded but as far as I’m concerned, are a much bigger achievements than simply winging success through raw talent alone. I remember when I went to my 20 year school reunion after being diagnosed with my auto-immune disease and my big achievement was being able to sit on the floor and get up again. That simple movement had taken months of physio and incredible determination to pull off. No awards there.
I guess that’s why I love Mariah Carey’s hit: Hero: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgXw9YHpk1M
Yesterday, my daughter and I traveled up to Wyong about 45 minutes drive North to enroll her in her new school and pick up her uniform. Miss has been selected to attend “Opportunity School”. These classes run for the last two years of Primary school and you have to sit an entry test. Miss was initially on a waiting list but quickly got through and we found ourselves saying goodbye to the kids’ primary school, which has been our second home for 7 years and we’re moving on.
After picking up her uniform and having another look around the school, we headed out to the Wyong Milk Factory, which is home to the Little Creek Cheese Factory and Luka Chocolates. I’ve been to the cheese factory before and you can read about my Adventures of a Cheesy here: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/adventures-of-a-cheesy/
Well, you can just imagine we were happy little mice!
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before our son starts high school next year and his last days of primary school are running out. I still remember when he first saw “Big School” and he said it was “too big” and absolutely refused to go through the gate, despite the lovely encouragement of the Year 6 student on the gate. He now tells me that Primary School is “too small” and I guess I’m pleased that he feels he’s outgrown it and is ready for the next challenge. Tuesday, they have the Year 6 Farewell and then Wednesday…It’s all over red rover. The rest of the school forms a tunnel and Year 6 is gone.
Mister doing News at school in kindergarten, aged 5. He was talking about his Great-Grandmother’s funeral.
For those of you with an interest in education, I thought I’d mention that our son has been selected for the AVID class next year. I do intend to write more about it down the track but it really does sound like an exciting way of learning. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It’s focus is preparing students for university and they have uni students come and work with them in the classroom. Apparently, it has achieved excellent results.
Meanwhile, while there’s a general preoccupation elsewhere with the number of sleeps before Christmas, we still have next weekend ahead. Saturday is the annual dance concert and today we had a rehearsal and tomorrow is photo call. So, after dropping Miss off at rehearsal, I was off to stockpile bobby pins, hairnets, makeup and nail polish remover. Thank goodness all these hair dramas only come round once or twice a year and she can go back to looking like the Little Matchgirl afterwards. After the concert, she’s off to join her brother at the annual Christmas Scout Camp at the hall and Mum and Dad might even be sleeping over. That could be fun. It’s on the waterfront and we do have stretcher beds. All the same, I am concerned about how much sleep we may or, more likely, won’t get. Not that I’m one to stay up talking all night myself!
Did I mention the school carol service tomorrow night? Nativity Church service Friday night? We also have a dog walkers’ Christmas party at the beach. Oh yes…2 medical appointments in Sydney this week as well. I don’t know why I’m still out of bed!
By the way, if you’re wanting to get into the Christmas spirit, you can visit Solveig Werner at http://solveigwerner.com/who has been running an Advent Calender on her blog featuring guest bloggers. I will be coming up on the 17th writing a comic piece about Christmas in the Australian heat. I have also reblogged this post about Virginia’s famous letter to the newspaper asking whether Santa is real. I also posted the words of a modern Australian Christmas Carol, Aussie Jingle Bells, which is incredibly cringe-worthy but I love it regardless.
Speaking of Christmas, we buy a fresh Christmas tree every year and as yet, I have absolutely no idea how we’re going to fit it in and how I’m going to find the time to make room. Is it still Christmas without your own Christmas tree? The home made Christmas cake seems to be succumbing to a similar fate. Although I have bought the ingredients, I haven’t even boiled the fruit yet and it’s really been too hot. Ice cream anyone?
Golly, my Christmas guilt list is getting longer and longer!
How has your week been? Hope you’re going well and I’m looking forward to catching up on your news.
The featured image was taken in a French cafe in The Rocks, Sydney. That cappuccino was huge…almost a goldfish bowl. Indeed, aren’t there days you wouldn’t mind being a goldfish swimming round in a bowl of coffee when you need that extra buzz!